CEO Friday Message
April 28, 2017
We’ve had an exciting week at Highland Hospital this week, as we had our triennial accreditation visit by The Joint Commission. What does this mean exactly? Well, I’d like to tell you a little about the importance of accreditation for hospitals, and what it means to us and to our patients.
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. To earn and maintain The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval®, an organization undergoes an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years. The Joint Commission is governed by a 32-member Board of Commissioners that includes physicians, administrators, nurses, employers, quality experts, a consumer advocate and educators. The mission of The Joint Commission is “to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value”. Given the synergy between the mission of The Joint Commission and our mission to provide high quality behavioral health services in a caring environment, it only makes sense that we would voluntarily seek accreditation from this body. We have been continuously accredited by The Joint Commission for many, many years.
But, that all seems academic. What does this really mean to our patients, our staff, and our community? Scrutiny by an outside body is never easy, so why would we subject ourselves to this every three years? We believe that evaluation is never a bad thing. Evaluation is the way that we receive feedback on how we are doing in meeting our mission. We seek this out in many ways including by asking our patients how we are doing. But we also invite outside organizations to see how we are doing as compared to other organizations like ours and as compared to national standards. The consultation that we received from The Joint Commission visitors is priceless in helping us think of new, better, or safer ways to provide care or to create our environment. It helps us become a better version of us.
So, how did this visit go? I am proud to say that our team was a shining example of what we are all about—providing the best possible behavioral health care every day, to every person. While we won’t have our final accreditation decision for a little while, the feedback that we received was very positive, and I couldn’t be prouder of Highland Hospital and our people. Bravo!